Chapter 52: Personally, I like to Avoid Escort Missions
“If only that man wasn’t so obsessed with swords.”
Minerva-san muttered something under her breath that I didn’t quite catch.
“Ah, no, it’s nothing.”
She fixed her glasses and continued walking down the hall at a brisk pace.
From around me, I hear
“Ooh, it’s Jun-chan!”
“Ah, it looks like Dobin called for her.”
“Hm hm… Minerva-sama plus Jun-chan, eh?”
“Beauty 2-shot get!”
“I can’t tell which one’s better.”
“Hm… hard to say. Minerva-sama has an adult’s allure, but Jun-chan has the delicate beauty of youth, na.”
coming from some Adventurers heading down to the Labyrinth.
Wtf are they saying, these guys?!. Of course Minerva-san is more of a beauty! To compare a cool-beauty with a face that used to belong to a high school boy is extremely rude.
The allure of an older woman should not be treated trivially.
And what do you mean, I look delicate? Haaan? Tsk.
But anyway, it seems like I’ve become well-known around Nyl City. Things like saving B Rank Adventurers, or being good luck while hunting, or the fact that I subjugated a Crystal Python along with Ragnall and Helward-san … a lot of rumors, some true and some … not so true, are flying around.
Well, I’ve met most of the more good-natured Adventurers whenever I went to the places with food carts, so it’s not like people only know me by rumors.
The more ill-natured Adventurers just glare at me from a distance. Jealousy, Niera said.
By the way, there aren’t many nastier mannered Adventurers that usually seem to pop up in this kind of setting. Of course there are some rougher, delinquent guys, but nothing like the downright criminal mob characters in other-world LN. Or, more accurately speaking, those kinds of people aren’t likely to be Adventurers in this town.
I mean, even the Dark Wyverns didn’t have any Adventurers among them. They were made up of ex-Adventurers or bandits. It’s not like the Guild gives you a personality test … Doesn’t it seem stranger that there WOULDN’T be any Adventurer who gets drunk off their power?
Hm, well, peace is best, I guess.
“Florian-san, Dobin-san, Jun-san has arrived.”
Minerva opens the door to the Guild Master’s room and stands to the side to let me enter first, before quietly entering behind me and closing the door.
Standing perfectly straight as usual is the butler-like Guild Master, Florian, and seated on top of the desk next to him is the shrewd halfling Vice-Guild Master, Dobin.
Hm? Don’t they look a little stressed? Though Florian-san’s posture is perfect, his hair isn’t slicked all the way down today, and it has strands sticking up everywhere. Dobin-san looks like he just woke up – or maybe he hadn’t slept yet.
That’s right, when Lor grumbles about being forced to work all night, he mentions that Dobin-san is usually right there in the room with him so he can’t escape.
Both Guild and Vice-Guild Masters have hands full of papers that they seem to have been sorting.
With impeccable movements, Florian-san set the papers on the desk and addressed me.
“Good morning, Jun-san. Sorry to call you in right after your evaluation, but we were at a loss as to when we would be able to get in contact with you otherwise.”
Ah, yeah, sorry, it’s because I was a hermit of the forge.
“It’s fine. Was … there something you needed me for?”
“Ah, yes. There was a commission that requested you, and the commissioner was hoping to get an answer … by tonight.”
Tonight huh? That’s pretty tight timing, yup. But a commission requesting me specifically? For my Inventory cheat or my smithing? Well, if it was for my Inventory cheat, the only people who really know about it are Ragnall and the Valor of Arms brigade.
Even when I was unloading everything at the Guild, the Valor of Arms brigade kept other people out of the warehouses until I was done.
Anyway, if it’s for Inventory, I think those people would come to me personally instead of sending a commission through the Guild.
Basically, I have a completely blank “?” kind of look on my face.
In response to it, Florian-san continued.
“It’s a commission to be a guard for a Noble-sama.”
Because the contents were so different from what I was expecting, though I’m not really sure what I was expecting, I ended up making a strange noise.
“Wai- hang on. A guard? Why am I being asked to do this? I don’t have any experience guarding people.”
I don’t have much experience with commissions … period. The only one I’ve done was with the Valor of Arms brigade, so I was basically being babysat, you know.
“Your Barriers are rather advantageous in a case like this.”
Florian-san said this, but Dobin-san cut in and said,
“Because Sir Knight Captain Ilyos was so enamored by the swords you made, that even though he was being evasive with things when he was trying to make the request, when we said you might be joining the bodyguards, he was suddenly giving us all sorts of information.”
Eeeeeeh… That evil grin. That means Dobin-san totally used me as a bargaining chip, huh?
Florian-san coughed and looked away.
So that was totally it. And here I would have just accepted my Barriers as a reason…
“Wait … does that mean the commissioner this time is Sir Knight Captain? Then the Noble-sama … is a Carnus Noble?”
Not that it really matters to me, but I’m curious.
“That’s right. This Noble-sama is a newly-instated Noble, apparently. Even though he will have his own entourage, Sir Ilyos has his misgivings about how good the guards coming with the Noble-sama are.”
“Then why even have those guards.”
Oops, I instinctively retorted.
Dobin-san smiles bitterly.
“Who knows how Nobles think. The guards are made up of young recruits fresh out of the Carnus Knight Academy, and many are second sons of minor nobility. It won’t be surprising to see them seeking to grandstand and make a name for themselves, or even think dangerous things about taking over a new-Nobles title …”
What. Like, killing the person you’re supposed to be guarding to take over his title? Isn’t Carnus supposed to be the most peaceful and advanced country? Scaaary.
And like, you’re scary for being able to understand that much about it, Dobin-san!
“Um … I’m not saying I’ll definitely do it or anything, but if I did … you can’t be expecting me to guard someone all by myself, with no experience, right?”
“Oh, of course not. You and Ragnall will be the ‘visible’ guards in direct contact with the Noble-sama. The two of you are stupidly strong, abnormally sensitive to magic, and you have your Barriers, yeah? On top of that, the other equally essential qualities are that both of you are fairly good-natured, slow to anger, and have well-bred manners.”
As Dobin-san snorts and lists off the reasons I was recommended, I can’t help but think, sure, I’m slow to anger, but you guys do remember my … mistake, right? You know, when I got really angry?
But, well, it’s true that I don’t really get angry that quickly…
Florian sees my eyes beginning to swim, and he explains,
“Right now, we don’t really understand the temperament of the Noble-sama, so we are reluctant to employ hot-headed Adventurers.”
“Well, that, and the most important part is you’re both human.”
It’s important for us to be human? Ah… I guess there’s a bunch of templates of racist Nobles in this world.
“Weeell, Sir Knight Captain actually picked the 2 of you out of the list of people we recommended. Since Ragnall’s been escorting his daughter I guess he has confidence in him, and I’m pretty sure he’s just one of your fans, Jun-chan.”
Ooooi, Sir Knight Captain-sama, Ragnall’s case aside, is it okay to decide on the bodyguard of an important Noble-sama so easily?
“So… is this, like, a 24 hour SS like surveillance?”
“Esu esu? Ah, well, it’s not a constant surveillance. It’s more like an escort guard when he goes out into the city or Labyrinth.”
Ooooooh. Ok, that sounds way more like a job an Adventurer would take. Still, a Noble-sama, huh? You know, I’ve been warned by anyone and everyone about not catching the eyes of Nobles… Nn, but this is unexpectedly good timing, since Helward-san said I ‘graduated’ from his teachings just today. Though I can always go back for more instruction if I want it.
Seeming to sense my hesitation, Dobin-san suddenly gave a grin. Uh oh.
“Of course you would be compensated well according to the commission. By the way, since our commissioned guards are at The Queen Mary’s constantly now, we have entered negotiations with Maryiste and are looking to put a small branch of our … intel … in the shop. We will foot most of the bill for the remodeling – and we might be willing to help pay for the repairs that are still ongoing.”
… Demon. Demon merchant.
Tsk. Because of the limits of Maryiste’s budget, the repairs have been stretched out across this past month and are still continuing now. Of course I offered to pay for some of it, or even lend them money if they can’t stand me outright paying for it, but none of them would have it. Something about their pride as my “Onee-sans”.
But with this arrangement I might be able to get around their stubbornness…
“… A Carnus Noble, huh…”
Damn, Dobin-san’s triumphant pose makes me feel like I’m going to regret it.
After we finalize the details, just as I turn to go, Florian-san stops me as if he just remembered something.
“That’s right, I forgot. Jun-san, we have some information about the Crystal Python attack. Seeing as you were one of the people who put your life on the line to defeat it, you should be aware of it.”
Hm? Wasn’t the story that some foolish thrill-seekers went a little too far into the Labyrinth?
“It seems to have been instigated on purpose in order to make an attack on the Guild.”
The people who had been killed by the Crystal Python all had one thing in common; slave collars.
I honestly felt like vomiting when I heard that.
Those people were forced to instigate the Crystal Python and lead it up the Labyrinth so that it could break the Guild’s barrier, and probably destroy the Guild Hall and half of Nyl City.
Dobin-san only said that the Guild is certain due to some intelligence they uncovered, and I decided it would be better not to ask about how they got the intelligence, but Florian-san and Dobin-san stated these things as a fact without wavering at all.
“Jun nee-san, are you done with work?”
“Jun-chan, you’ve been eating well, yes?”
Ah, I was wandering around in a kind of gloomy mood. I didn’t realize I’d already reached the open-air market.
“Aaah, hahaha, hi Obaa-san, hey Winry-chan. I have the rest of the day off.”
“Oh my, how wonderful! Oh! I saw those girls from your shop running earlier. They need meat to keep up their stamina, meat!”
“Tsk, Mami obaa-san, that’s an old superstition! You need fruits and veggies to maintain your body! Jun-chan, come on, the poriela is fresh today!”
“If you’re going to build up a strong body, isn’t it fish?! Jun-chan, fresh Rock Tuna, straight from level 3 today!”
I’m getting used to being called with “-chan” these days … I don’t know if that’s something I should take pride in. As I greet the lively shopkeepers and watch the busy people doing all their shopping, I’m really happy we stopped that Crystal Python.
It’s only been a little over a month, but I have found feelings towards Nyl City and the people who live here.
Who is it, the one that’s trying to disrupt this peaceful life?
… I shrug off the growing anger and decide to head back to The Queen Mary’s – with a bounty of groceries. There’s nothing I can do right now when I don’t even know the people responsible.